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Single-vessel cerebral blood flow fMRI to map blood velocity by phase-contrast imaging

By Xuming Chen, Yuanyuan Jiang, Sangcheon Choi, Rolf Pohmann, Klaus Scheffler, David Kleinfeld, Xin Yu

Posted 03 Sep 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.03.280636

Current approaches to high-field fMRI provide two means to map hemodynamics at the level of single vessels in the brain. One is through changes in deoxyhemoglobin in venules, i.e., blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI, while the second is through changes in arteriole diameter, i.e., cerebral blood volume (CBV) fMRI. Here we introduce cerebral blood flow (CBF)-fMRI, which uses high-resolution phase-contrast MRI to form velocity measurements of flow and demonstrate CBF-fMRI in single penetrating microvessels across rat parietal cortex. In contrast to the venule-dominated BOLD and arteriole-dominated CBV fMRI signal, the phase-contrast -based CBF signal changes are highly comparable from both arterioles and venules. Thus, we have developed a single-vessel fMRI platform to map the BOLD, CBV, and CBF from penetrating microvessels throughout the cortex. This high-resolution single-vessel fMRI mapping scheme not only enables the vessel-specific hemodynamic mapping in diseased animal models but also presents a translational potential to map vascular dementia in diseased or injured human brains with ultra-high field fMRI. Summary We established a high-resolution PC-based single-vessel velocity mapping method using the high field MRI. This PC-based micro-vessel velocity measurement enables the development of the single-vessel CBF-fMRI method. In particular, in contrast to the arteriole-dominated CBV and venule-dominated BOLD responses, the CBF-fMRI shows similar velocity changes in penetrating arterioles and venules in activated brain regions. Thus, we have built a noninvasive single-vessel fMRI mapping scheme for BOLD, CBV, and CBF hemodynamic parameter measurements in animals.

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